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Screening Types & Overview

Breast Screening Overview

There are several breast screening options available at Hoag, including advanced technologies, so regardless of the type of breast screening your physician recommends, Hoag can help. Hoag offers the following breast screening types:

  • Annual Mammograms play an important role in your proactive breast care. A mammogram is a non-invasive screening that uses x-rays to produce highly detailed 2-dimensional images of the breast. Screening mammograms are available at all Hoag imaging locations and breast centers.
  • Breast Tomosynthesis, or 3D Mammography, is the latest technology in mammography and represents a significant advance in breast imaging. The 3-dimensional technology helps to improve the accuracy of mammography, especially in women with dense breasts. Breast Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography) is available at Hoag Breast Center Newport Beach, Hoag Imaging and Breast Center Irvine (Woodbridge), Hoag Breast Center Huntington Beach, Hoag Health Centers Costa Mesa and Irvine (Woodbury).
  • Breast Ultrasound is a non-invasive breast imaging tool that uses high frequency sound waves to create images of the breast. Ultrasound can improve sensitivity for detecting breast cancer when utilized in conjunction with screening mammography. It may be especially beneficial to women with dense breasts, women with breast implants and pregnant women who should not be exposed to X-Ray technology. Breast ultrasound is available at Hoag Breast Center Newport Beach and Hoag Imaging and Breast Center Irvine.
  • Breast MRI is a non-invasive imaging technology that produces highly detailed images of the breasts by looking at the magnetic properties of tissue. Breast MRI is recommended for screening only in women who are considered very high-risk for developing breast cancer. There is no radiation associated with an MRI. Breast MRI is available at Hoag Breast Center Newport Beach.
  • A Breast Biopsy is performed to further analyze an abnormality that was identified during a breast screening. A breast biopsy is an outpatient procedure performed with a needle. It is very rare that a biopsy has to be done surgically in the operating room. Breast biopsies are performed at our diagnostic breast centers including Hoag Breast Center Newport Beach and Hoag Imaging and Breast Center Irvine.

If you have any questions or want to schedule your screening mammogram, call 949-764-5573, or schedule an appointment on Hoag's Patient Portal.

Understanding Mammograms: Screening vs. Diagnostic

Screening mammography looks for signs of cancer

A screening mammogram is appropriate for a woman without signs or symptoms of breast disease, for the purpose of early detection of breast cancer, and includes a physician’s interpretation of the results of the procedure. A screening mammography usually includes 2 x-ray pictures (views) of each breast. Some women, such as those with large breasts, may need to have more pictures to see as much breast tissue as possible.

Diagnostic mammography investigates possible problems

A diagnostic mammogram is appropriate for a man or woman with signs and symptoms of breast disease, or a personal history of breast cancer, or a personal history of biopsy - proven benign breast disease, and includes a physician's interpretation of the results of the procedure.

What happens after your screening?

If you have breast screening services at Hoag, your images will be read by one of Hoag’s specialty trained, dedicated breast radiologists and results are provided to you and your physician in a timely manner.
While you go through the breast screening process, Hoag’s breast care team is with you every step of the way as your breast care advocate. At Hoag, you will receive personalized care.